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Musings of a didactic aunty with old-school wisdom

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar sends her grandkids into the ‘big bad world’ with some solid advice.

Yet another grandchild is sitting on the ledge, excitedly looking forward to ‘flying the coop’ into the open skies to what he thinks is adulthood and thus, freedom! Granny here never went to college and is supposedly clueless about the big, wide world out there; so here goes nothing but some rustic advice born of decades of experience:

• Life won’t always be fair but do jump out of bed with a sense of awe, of wonderment and curiosity for the experiences it’ll throw at you and through it all, blaze your own path with determination, dedication and fortitude.
• Do love life and yourself and don’t let anyone tell you who you are, but first KNOW who you are! Remember ‘cool’ isn’t synonymous with invincibility; neither should confidence translate as arrogance.

• Do remember, the only constant is change; so live in the present, which is already in the past by the time
you say it. Don’t take the little blessings for granted; live in gratitude.
• Do watch what you feed body, mind, and spirit, and the friends you keep; they’ll shape the person you want
to be.
• Do match your words and actions to your core principles so that you can face yourself in the mirror and whenever the truth is too raw, stay silent!
• Do define and set a realistic goal for the broad word, ‘success,’ which doesn’t and shouldn’t mean a life of
endlessly chasing your own tail.
• Do use money wisely and stringently; don’t borrow, don’t lend, and release your parents from being your wallet, soonest.
• Do remember learning never ends, always remain open like a flower to receive the dew of knowledge.
• Do believe in the inherent good in people but be extremely discerning.
• Do tolerate the differences in color, ethnicity, religion, status, looks, orientation, opinions and food
preferences; it’s not your way or the highway.
• Do talk less and listen more, not only with ears, but with heart and brain and compassion.
• Do keep communication channels open, even with the worst of them. There’s maturity and courage in saying sorry, or to back off from arguments; and a thank you is always a clincher, more so when it’s least expected.
• Do be forgiving of your own or another’s idiocies and failures; don’t allow bitterness to make you a brittle
‘sad sack.’
• You can’t change others; but it’s always possible to enhance oneself.
• Don’t compare and compete, neither entertain envy because nobody is better or worse, but like you, uniquely different; you don’t need to race past anybody but the you of yesterday.

• Don’t shy away from the arena of adversities; treat them as challenges; focus on the solutions and don’t brood over the problem; transform impossible to ‘I’m possible.’
• Do avoid getting into trouble and creating a big and messy and smelly pile of s***. You’ll have to live with it till the end of your days, and so will your parents and grandparents.
• Don’t think of sex as the tasting plastic spoons at Baskin Robbins; it’s something profound, beautiful and all-encompassing.
• Don’t fall in love just yet; first understand who you really are under this bag of skin and bones before you can even pretend to understand the profound nature of love and the lifetime of committed responsibilities the simple four-letter word, ‘love,’ entails.
• Do remember you are an insignificant single, but significant enough to either soothe or hurt Mother Earth; be stringent with resources!
• Do live by the universal tenets of Sikhism: a good and honest life; rendering selfless service (sewa) to the
one Creator and to fellow humans who’ve all been created equal; respect His creation and exercise compassion for every living being.
• Do say “thank you” and “I love you” before it’s too late to the parents and grandparents that now seem like roadblocks to freedom, but time will reveal them to be the ones who always loved you and will unconditionally continue to do so.
• Do go to Gurudwara whenever possible, for a sense of belonging in a strange land – and the parshad is
• Do keep a link with the BOSS up above, you’ll definitely meet Him one day!

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